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EARLY YEARS THEMES

Fairytales

The gingerbread man

A complete unit of lessons and activities


Early years themes—Fairytales

Published by R.I.C. Publications ® 2011

Copyright © R.I.C. Publications ® 2011

RIC20937

Titles in this series:

Early years themes—Places

Early years themes—People

Early years themes—Animals

Early years themes—Science

Early years themes—Fantasy

Early years themes—Fairytales

Early years themes—Special days and celebrations

Copyright Information

Only the blackline masters contained within this

publication may only be reproduced by the original

purchaser for use with their class(es). The publisher

prohibits the loaning or onselling of these blackline

masters for purposes of reproduction. No other part

of this publication may be reproduced in any form or

by any means, electronic or mechanical, including

photocopying or recording, or by any information

storage and retrieval system, without written

permission from the publisher.

Accompanying resources available:

Early years themes—Fairytales Posters (set of 5)

Early years themes—Fairytales Stickers (set of 5)

Early years themes Interactive CD (Places, People,

Animals, Science)

Early years themes Interactive CD (Fantasy, Fairytales,

Special days and celebrations)

Internet websites

In some cases, websites or specific URLs may be recommended. While these are checked and rechecked at the time of publication,

the publisher has no control over any subsequent changes which may be made to webpages. It is strongly recommended that the class

teacher checks all URLs before allowing students to access them.

View all pages online

PO Box 332 Greenwood Western Australia 6924

Website: www.ricpublications.com.au

Email: mail@ricgroup.com.au


Early years themes – Fairytales

Foreword

Early years themes—Fairytales is one of a new series of teacher resource books designed to support teachers as they impart

knowledge about commonly-taught themes in early childhood classrooms. The books contain a variety of ideas for using

the themes to assist teachers as they convey early skills and concepts using cross-curricular activities in learning centres or

whole-class activities.

Titles in this series include:

Supporting materials available from R.I.C.

Early themes—Places

Publications ® to accompany these books

Early themes—People

include posters, stickers and interactives.

Early themes—Animals

Early themes—Science

Early themes—Fantasy

Early themes—Fairytales

Early themes—Special days and celebrations

Contents

Teachers notes ............................................................................... iv – xiii

The format of this series of books ..................................................... iv – v

An explanation of the icons ................................................................... vi

About the artwork ............................................................................... vii

About the resource sheets/blacklines ..................................................... vii

Curriculum links ................................................................................ viii

Sample social skills checklist ................................................................ ix

Sample language skills checklist ............................................................ x

Sample fine motor skills checklist .......................................................... xi

Sample fundamental movement skills checklist ...................................... xii

Sample mathematics skills checklist .................................................... xiii

The three billy goats Gruff .................................................................. 1–20

Jack and the beanstalk ................................................................... 21–40

The gingerbread man ...................................................................... 41–60

The ugly duckling ............................................................................ 61–80

Little Red Riding Hood ................................................................... 81–100

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—Fairytales iii


Teachers notes

The format of this series of books

This series of books is designed to cater for early childhood teachers who use learning centres and cross-curricular activities as

a basis for planning activities to develop key concepts and skills. Teachers will easily be able to locate activity-based learning

within this complete compilation of ideas.

All of the five themes within each book follow the same format over 20 pages. Each theme consists of:

1. A title or cover page with

appropriate artwork which the

teacher can utilise for themebased

activities.

2. A number of pages of cross-curricular learning activities to develop the

theme. Those themes which relate closely to a specific learning area may

have more activities in key learning areas such as science. All themes

have activities which are predominantly ‘hands-on’.

3. Background information with useful facts about the theme.

4. A list of concepts to be developed provides suggested developmentallyappropriate

learning outcomes to be achieved by completing the theme.

iv Early years themes—Fairytales www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®


Teachers notes

The format of this series of books

5. A small number of resource/blackline pages which can be used

to create games or oral language activities, as templates for art

and craft activities or as worksheets for more capable children who

are beginning to read and understand mathematical concepts.

6. Recipes relating to the theme—

simple cooking and non-cooking

recipes, including those for

manipulative play, such as ‘goop’.

7. Display ideas for art and craft or

specific learning centres.

8. A list of literature resources to

complement the theme, including

songs, action rhymes and fiction

and nonfiction books.

9. A notes section to enable the teacher

to record useful websites or resources

relating to the theme, or other

worthwhile activities or ideas etc.

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—Fairytales v


Teachers notes

An explanation of the icons

A number of icons have been used throughout the cross-curricular activities sections to make it easier and quicker for teachers to

locate appropriate learning activities.

Fine motor activities—building with blocks, puzzles, sorting, sand and water play, sensory items

such as ‘feely boxes’, playdough or clay work, threading, chalkboards, construction using recycled

materials such as boxes

Outdoor play—sand and/or water play (see also ‘fine motor activities’); gross motor activities such as

climbing, balancing, bikes, scooters, jumping, throwing, obstacle course activities etc.; tracking activities

using balloons and bubbles etc.; other messy art activities

Dramatic play—home corner, dramatising stories, dressing up, puppets, shopping etc.

Art and craft—free painting, directed and supervised painting,

craft (assisted and independent)

Computer—suggestions for simple games or activities

(usually individual or pairs) or relevant internet activities

Cooking—supervised activities, some of which use heat

Games—indoor or outdoor games relating to literacy such as card

games, memory games etc.; mathematics, singing games, any

physical education games involving movement etc.

Writing—tracing, copying, writing on, and with, different things—cards, different types of paper etc.;

adding patterns or stripes etc.; tracking and following paths, dot-to-dot activities etc.

vi Early years themes—Fairytales www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®


Teachers notes

About the artwork

All the artwork in this series of books is:

• age-appropriate

• teacher- and child-friendly

• an additional resource to help develop the theme

• suitable for enlarging for:

~ colouring

~ handwriting

~ dot-to-dot sheets

~ use as templates for art and craft activities

~ visual texts to encourage oral language development.

Some artworks are based on simple shapes to support learning in the mathematics

area; others are more elaborate. It is anticipated that early childhood teachers will

view an illustration based on shapes and be able to use this idea to develop concrete

play activities using shapes or as a technology and design project. More elaborate

artwork is used to demonstrate a teaching resource which needs to be made, a recipe,

game or other activity.

Examples of artwork relating to art and craft activities have wide, bold, easily visible

cutting outlines to allow the children some variation in the cutting path they will use.

About the resource sheets/blacklines

Resource sheets/blacklines contain:

• simple, age-appropriate artwork

• prominent visual clues

• little or no text

• visual clues to support text pages

• few instructions, so as not to confuse beginning readers

• teacher instructions in the margins with a number of different

suggestions for using the resource sheet/blackline

• literacy and numeracy activities.

These resource sheets/blacklines are included as valuable time-savers

for teachers.

It is anticipated that the teacher will enlarge any pages to A3 size and

photocopy them onto more durable paper or card, to make them easier

for learners of this age group to manipulate.

The cross-curricular section of each theme includes a reference to

resource sheets/blacklines relating to specific activities.

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—Fairytales vii


Teachers notes

Curriculum links

All the learning activities in this series of books support the key learning areas of the current curriculum documents.

In particular, one or more activities also support each strand of the new English and Mathematics National Curriculum. The

specific strands from the National Curriculum relating to each activity are denoted by the words in brackets in the English and

Mathematics learning areas of the cross-curricular section.

For example, in the ‘The three billy goats Gruff’ theme:

English Talk about the use of capital letters for the beginning of special names such as ‘Gruff’. Create a goat from

a large capital ‘G’. Use cardboard, paper, crayons and googly eyes. Alternatively, cover a lower-case ‘g’

with Easter grass. (Language)

Mathematics

Reference to both is shown below.

Provide coloured pattern blocks or coloured paper shapes for the children to create goat shapes from.

(Measurement and Geometry)

Relevant curriculum reference

NSW

Qld

SA

Vic.

WA

National Curriculum: refer to pages 6 and 11 of Shape of the Australian Curriculum: English

National Curriculum: refer to pages 6 and 7 of Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics

National Curriculum: Science learning activities also support pages 6 and 7 of Shape of the Australian

Curriculum: Science

Belonging, being and becoming: The early years framework for Australia (2009)

Refer to Early years curriculum guidelines page 55 (Table 9: A

summary of the learning statements in the early learning areas)

and pages 61–75.

Refer to ‘Early years band: Age 3–Age 5’. South Australian

Curriculum, Standards and Accountability at .

Refer to Victorian essential learning standards Level 1 at

.

Refer to K-3 scope-and-sequence charts at .

viii Early years themes—Fairytales www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®


Teachers notes

Sample social skills checklist

Date:

Student name

separates easily from

parents

interacts readily with

adults

interacts readily with

peers

shares with others and

takes turns

participates in group

activities

cooperates with others

accepts responsibility

for own behaviour

respects the property

of others

respects the feelings of

others

listens without

interrupting

expresses feelings

appropriately

solves simple problems

is developing an

awareness of the wider

community

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—Fairytales ix


Teachers notes

Sample language skills checklist

Date:

Student name

communicates needs clearly

articulates most words correctly

relates personal experiences

contributes to discussions

uses age-appropriate

vocabulary

articulates most initial sounds

correctly

asks appropriate questions

speaks in complete sentences

relates events in order of

occurrence

able to tell a story from pictures

retells a familiar story without

pictures or clues

uses simple compound

sentences

responds appropriately to

questions about himself/herself

listens to a story for a given

length of time

follows simple two-step

instructions

knows his/her first and last

names

recognises rhyming words

answers simple oral cloze

questions

labels emotions such as happy,

sad, angry, scared …

x Early years themes—Fairytales www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®


Teachers notes

Sample fine motor skills checklist

Date:

Student name

completes simple puzzles

builds a tower of eight or more

small blocks

dresses himself/herself (apart

from buttons and shoelaces)

manipulates playdough to

create a specific object

places small pegs in small

holes

threads small beads

uses scissors to cut out simple

shapes and pictures

completes simple folding

activities

uses a knife, fork and spoon

correctly

holds a crayon or pencil

correctly

colours within lines

writes or copies own name

draws and copies simple

pictures

copies a sequence of letters or

numbers adequately

traces or recreates patterns

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—Fairytales xi


Teachers notes

Sample fundamental movement skills checklist

Date:

Explicit teaching

Exposure

Student name

balances on one

foot (static balance)

runs

jumps vertically

catches a ball or

beanbag

hops

throws a ball or

beanbag using an

overarm movement

gallops sideways

skips

leaps

kicks a ball

strikes a ball or

object using a twohanded

strike

dodges a ball or

object

xii Early years themes—Fairytales www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®


Teachers notes

Sample mathematics skills checklist

Date:

Number and algebra Measurement and geometry Statistics and probability

Student name

recognises numerals 1 to

writes numerals 1 to

rote counts to

places numerals to

in correct order

understands one-to-one

correspondence

understands ‘more than’ and ‘less

than’

able to do simple addition and

subtraction using concrete materials

shares collections

creates or completes a pattern

measures using everyday items

makes comparison of size and

length

recognises basic shapes

identifies attributes of objects and

collections

is aware of use of devices used

for measuring (scales, tape etc.)

shows awareness of

(money, temperature, time)

sorts or orders objects

is aware of collections and

presentations of data

interprets data in a display

makes predictions about chance

events

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—Fairytales xiii


xiv Early years themes—Fairytales www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®


Cross-curricular activities

English

• Introduce ‘The gingerbread man’ to the children by

reading a version, preferably from a big book. Before

reading, ask the children if they have heard the story

before. (During reading, ask them to predict what might

come next.) (Literature)

• Ask the children questions about the setting and

characters in the story. Display labelled pictures of

the house, oven, gingerbread man, old woman, old

man, cow, horse, fox and river to encourage word

recognition. (Refer to the blackline on page 49.)

(Language, Literacy)

• While re-reading the fairytale to the children, have them

chant the repetitive text ‘Run, run, as fast as you can!

You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!’ at the

appropriate times. (Language)

• After the children are familiar with one version of the

story, introduce different versions. (Some children may

have a version at home they can bring and share.) Talk

about what is the same and what is different in each.

(Literature)

• Ask children oral comprehension questions (of a literal,

inferential and applied nature) about the story; e.g.

−−What did the old woman use to make the gingerbread

man’s eyes? (literal)

−−Why do you think the gingerbread man ran and ran?

(inferential)

−−What would you do if you came to a river you wanted

to cross? (applied) (Language, Literacy)

• Use the poster accompanying this unit to help the

children retell the story in their own words. (Language,

Literacy)

• Add to the list of rhyming words in the story for ‘can’

and ‘ran’. (Language)

• Identify the initial letter of the names of characters and

objects in the story. Refer to the blackline on page 49.

(Language)

• Think of words to describe the appearance and

personality of different characters in the story; e.g. old

woman – old, kind; gingerbread man – brown, yummy,

tasty, fast; fox – furry, sneaky.

• A small group of children sit in a circle with the teacher.

One at a time, they take turns to complete sentences

such as: ‘I liked the part when …’ ‘I didn’t like the part

when …’ ‘I think the gingerbread man was …’ ‘I think

the fox was …’. (Language, Literacy)

• Sort pictures of events in the story in sequence. Match

sentence strips to each picture. Refer to the blacklines

on pages 50 to 52. (Language)

• Mould gingerbread playdough (see recipe on page 57)

into the initial letters of characters from the fairytale or

their whole name. (Language)

• Follow a story map of the fairytale. The children can

help to draw pictures of the setting to glue onto a chart.

It should have the old woman and old man’s cottage

and a winding path across fields, bushes and trees in

the countryside leading to a river. The characters the

gingerbread man meets can be glued at the appropriate

positions. The path the gingerbread man took can be

drawn as a line or in dot points. The children can hold a

gingerbread man cut-out and retell the story with another

child as they follow the path. (Language, Literacy)

• Provide three shoeboxes or trays marked ‘Beginning’,

‘Middle’ and ‘End’ (or label a large display board in

sections). The children draw and colour a picture of

an event in the story. They talk about their picture and

work out if the event happened at the beginning, middle

or end of the story. A sentence can be scribed about it,

or traced or copied by the children, depending upon

their ability. They place their picture in the appropriate

box. The children can view each other’s pictures and

put them back in the correct boxes. (Literacy)

• The children think of a different ending to the story and

draw a picture about it. A sentence can be scribed

about it, or traced or copied by the children, depending

upon their ability. Share their endings with the class.

(Language, Literacy)

42 Early years themes—Fairytales—The gingerbread man www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®


The gingerbread man – 1

Mathematics

• Complete a dot-to-dot picture of a gingerbread man.

Refer to the blackline on page 54. (Number and

Algebra)

• Use the blacklines on pages 50 and 51 for ordinal

activities. The children can lay out the pictures of events

in the story. Ask them for the picture that comes ‘first’,

‘second’, ‘last’ etc. (Number and Algebra)

• Play the ‘Gingerbread game’ set out on the blackline on

page 48. Two children take turns to roll a dice and colour

the corresponding body part on a blank gingerbread

man. The first to finish colouring their gingerbread man

wins. (Statistics and Probability)

• Place pictures of all the characters that chased the

gingerbread man in the correct order. Use the words

‘first’, ‘second’, ‘third’ and so on to identify each

character’s position. (Number and Algebra)

• Show the children a picture of a house the gingerbread

man might live in, made from 2-D shapes. The children

identify the shapes, name them and count them. Refer

to the blackline on page 55. Encourage the children to

create a house using large wooden blocks or pattern

block shapes. (Measurement and Geometry)

• The children use a gingerbread man cut-out to

compare its size with other objects around the room.

Is the gingerbread man taller/shorter/bigger/smaller?

(Measurement and Geometry)

• Cut pictures of different-sized and decorated

gingerbread men in half lengthways. The children

match up the halves so they are the same on each half;

i.e. symmetrical. (Measurement and Geometry)

• Measure the length, area and perimeter of gingerbread

men cut-outs with informal units such as unit cubes,

cottonwool balls, counters or dried peas. (Measurement

and Geometry)

• Talk to the children about what character they liked the

most. (The teacher could stipulate those other than

the gingerbread man so there is more of a variety.)

Construct a pictograph of results. Display pictures of

the characters on the bottom of a chart. Give each child

a small rectangular strip of coloured card that has his

or her name written on it (or the child can write own

name). They help to make the pictograph by gluing

the cards in the column above their chosen character.

Ask the children questions such as: ‘How many people

liked the fox best?’ ‘Which character did most children

like the least/most?’ (Statistics and Probability)

• This game can be played with a six-sided dice or with

cards numbered from 1 to 10 (with or without dot

arrays) or numbers that are being treated in class. A

collection of gingerbread men cut-outs is also needed.

The children throw the dice or choose a card from a

facedown pile. They then count out the corresponding

number of gingerbread men and lay them in a row for

checking. (Number and Algebra)

• For this game, a dice, two gingerbread men cutouts

and a collection of counters or small blocks are

needed. A child rolls a dice and places that number

of counters on one gingerbread man. He or she then

does the same with the other gingerbread man. The two

piles can then be counted to complete a simple addition

activity. (Number and Algebra)

• Give pairs of children four different coloured (red, yellow,

blue, green) gingerbread men printed on card, a pile of

coloured clothes pegs and a bag with four matching

coloured counters or attribute blocks, identical in size

and shape. The children have turns to take a counter/

block out of the bag. They name the colour and clip a

matching coloured clothes peg on the corresponding

gingerbread man. The counter/block is then put back

in the bag and another is chosen. After a set time, stop

the game and talk about the number of pegs on each

gingerbread man. (Statistics and Probability)

• A popular maths activity using ‘The gingerbread man’ is graphing what body part the children bite off first when eating a

baked gingerbread man. After a cooking activity to bake some gingerbread men, tally or graph if the children bit off the

head, an arm, a leg or bit into the main body first. The children can have their names written on paper (or they write their

own) and glue it above a picture of the matching body part. (Statistics and Probability)

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—Fairytales—The gingerbread man 43


Cross-curricular activities

Society and environment

• Make up simple mud maps for pairs of children to follow and search

with to find a hidden cut-out gingerbread man. Hide the gingerbread

men inside or outside the classroom.

• Talk to the children about how the gingerbread

man was tricked by the fox. This could lead

to a discussion about not trusting strangers

and ‘stranger danger’ procedures to follow.

• Talk about how the fox tricked the gingerbread

man into being eaten. Ask the children how

they felt about this. Ask them other questions

to think about and answer such as: ‘How

do you think the old woman and old man

felt when the fox took the gingerbread

man across the river/when the fox ate the

gingerbread man?’, ‘What if the last animal

to meet the gingerbread man was a swan/

crocodile/dog? Would the ending have been

the same or different?’

Technology and design

• Talk about how the old woman and old man

could have stopped the gingerbread man from

running away so they could have eaten him

and not the sly fox. Design and draw a device

or method of how they could have achieved

this; e.g. a lock on the oven, a magic spell,

separating his legs before cooking! The children

can share their sensible or ‘wacky’ ideas.

• Design and draw a boat or something else that

can float that the gingerbread man could have

used to travel across the river.

• Play this interactive game using the gingerbread man to learn

about shapes and colours:

.

• Colour a gingerbread man at this interactive site:

< http://www.kenttrustweb.org.uk/kentict/content/games/

gingerbreadGenerator.html>.

• Show the children a variety of edible items they could use to

decorate a gingerbread man they make when cooking. They

could plan how and what they would use. A similar activity

could be done with a gingerbread man they make as a craft

activity.

Science

• Children use the traditional five senses during a

cooking activity to bake gingerbread men to describe

what they see, hear, smell, touch and taste. When the

gingerbread men are cooked, the children can rate

which looks the best and how good/bad they taste.

• Talk to the children about why the gingerbread man did

not want to get wet when crossing the river. What would

have happened to him? Place a baked gingerbread

man in a bowl of water and observe what happens.

An extension to this activity could be to immerse other

objects/materials in water and make observations.

• Use the five senses to compare home-baked gingerbread

men to commercially prepared gingerbread men.

• Investigate the changes that occur during cooking

activities. Before each ingredient is added, discuss what

it looks like before it is mixed. Can they recognise it after

mixing? Can they recognise any of the original ingredients

after it is baked? For example, the brown sugar in the

gingerbread men dissolves and can’t be seen again; if

currants or raisins are used for decorations, these will

still be recognisable.

• The children can share what they know about the

animals in the story—cow, horse and fox—in the

version treated in this unit. Show them pictures and read

simple nonfiction books so they learn more about what

these animals look like, what they eat and how they

behave in real life.

44 Early years themes—Fairytales—The gingerbread man www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®


The gingerbread man – 2

Visual arts

• The outline of the gingerbread man on page 56 can be

used in the following ways:

−−Photocopy the template onto strong card, one for

each child. After the children have coloured their

gingerbread men, assist them to cut them out. Make

holes with a hole puncher at intervals around the

edge. The children use a thick needle threaded with

wool to sew a running stitch through the holes.

−−The children make stuffed paper gingerbread men.

Photocopy outlines of a gingerbread man on brown

paper and give each child two copies. After cutting

out the outlines, staple the two copies together

around the edges, leaving a gap wide

enough for the children to stuff later.

They colour and decorate both

sides of the gingerbread man

to add features. Materials to

use could include white wool

for icing decorations, ribbon,

bows, buttons, dried beans,

pompoms or stickers. The

children then stuff them with

crumpled paper, newspaper or

tissue paper. When finished,

staple the gap.

• Use a sheet of cork to make a gingerbread man cut-out.

As it is already brown, the children only need to glue on

items such as wool for a bow, wavy ric rack ribbon for

‘icing’ and felt dots for buttons.

• Make some sweet-smelling gingerbread men

ornaments. Mix half a cup of tinned apple sauce, half

a cup of cinnamon and two tablespoons of glue. Roll

out onto wax paper and use a gingerbread man biscuit

cutter to cut out shapes. (This amount makes about

six.) Poke a hole in the top with a wooden skewer or a

straw. Allow to dry for two or three days. The children

can then paint them, allow them to dry again and

thread ribbon through the hole to hang. Note: While the

children will notice the ornaments have a nice smell,

remind them they are not edible!

• Using a template, the children cut out a gingerbread

man from sandpaper. They then rub a cinnamon stick

over the sandpaper until the smell is noticeable. ‘Icing’

to decorate the gingerbread men can be made by

adding different colours of paint into bowls of glue. The

children use paintbrushes to add decorations. Collage

materials can also be used; e.g. googly eyes, circles of

coloured card for buttons.

• The children paint life-size pictures of the gingerbread

man and other characters from the story to display and

use to retell the fairytale. Collage materials can also be

used to decorate the characters. A label or sentence can

be written under each picture.

Drama

• Assist the children to make puppets by colouring pictures of the six

different characters treated in this unit, cutting them out and gluing

them onto craft sticks. The children can work in small groups of six

under adult guidance to perform puppet plays of the story. Refer to the

blackline on page 53.

• Make simple masks from decorated paper plates to represent the

different characters in the story. The children can wear them to act it

out.

• Use the outlines on page 53 to make shadow puppets. Photocopy onto

strong card and paint the characters black. Attach a length of dowel or

use a ruler as a holder. Draw and paint a house shape for the old woman

and old man’s house and a river shape. Shine a bright lamp behind a

sheet for children to practise and perform a shadow puppet play.

• Cut gingerbread man characters from felt to use on a felt board. The

children can watch the teacher retelling the story first with felt characters,

if necessary, before retelling it with a partner or small group.

• Use the pathway idea in the ‘Health and

Physical Education’ section on page 46

as a drama activity. The children can take

turns pretending to be the gingerbread

man, old woman, old man, cow, horse

or fox to move along the path like the

character they are portraying. They can

also make the correct noises to match;

e.g. mooing like the cow.

• Write the name of the characters from the

story on cards, along with a picture clue

(if necessary). The children can select

a card and role-play how the character

behaved in the story.

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—Fairytales—The gingerbread man 45


Cross-curricular activities

Health and physical education

• Instead of playing ‘What’s the time, Mr Wolf?’, play

‘What’s the time, Mr Fox?’ The teacher or a child is Mr

Fox. He or she walks along ahead of the rest of the

children, who follow cautiously behind. They chant:

‘What’s the time, Mr Fox?’ The fox turns his or her head

to face them and replies with times such as ‘1 o’clock’

or ‘6 o’clock’. The children keep asking the question;

however, if Mr Fox says ‘dinnertime’, they all have to

run away as he chases them. The first child caught is

the next Mr Fox.

• Play a version of ‘Drop the hanky’ but call it ‘Chase the

gingerbread man’. The children sit as a circle on the

grass. One child is the gingerbread man and stands up

outside the circle. The gingerbread man begins to skip/

run/side-step around the circle while the seated children

chant: ’Run, run as fast as you can. We can’t catch

you, you’re the gingerbread man’. If the gingerbread

man taps a child on the shoulder, that child has to get

up and chase the gingerbread man around the circle

before he or she gets back to the empty spot and sits

down. The chaser becomes the next gingerbread man.

• During cooking activities to make gingerbread, talk

about the brown sugar and golden syrup ingredients.

Discuss that foods made with these should be enjoyed

as treats as too much of them is bad for their teeth and

does not help to keep their bodies healthy. Sort pictures

of food cut from magazines into those that are good for

the gingerbread man to eat and those which should be

eaten occasionally as treats.

• Play ‘Pin the head on the gingerbread man’. Paint a

large gingerbread man on construction paper, minus

his head. Pin it to a large felt board. Give each child

playing a piece of circular paper to represent the head.

Attach Velcro or double-sided tape to the back of each.

Blindfold children in turns. They attempt to place the

head in the correct position on the gingerbread man.

• Hide 20 or so cardboard or felt cut-out gingerbread

men outside in a defined area. The children can form

teams of three to six and race to see which team finds

the most in a set time; e.g. one minute.

• Set up a pathway for the children to follow like the

gingerbread man did. Use witch’s hats, ropes and

natural pathways and borders outside to define the

pathway for the children to ‘Run, run, as fast as they

can!’ A sheet of blue plastic could represent the river at

the end of path. The children can take turns pretending

to be the gingerbread man, old woman, old man,

cow, horse and fox (or any other characters according

to their version of the fairytale) and move along the

pathway in the manner of that character.

• Talk to the children about how the gingerbread man

could run very fast. Ask them about what ways they can

move. In turn, the children can show the rest of the class

something they can do; e.g. hop, do a handstand, skip,

tiptoe, bunny hop, click fingers. The rest of the children

can copy.

• Clap and count the syllables in the name for each

gingerbread man character in the fairytale.

• The children can help to work out how to play various

musical instruments to match the parts of the story

while it is being retold by the teacher. For example, they

can shake maracas or bang a drum in time to the chant

of: ‘Run, run, as fast as you can! You can’t catch me,

I’m the gingerbread man!’ or shake maracas or chime a

triangle very fast when the gingerbread man is running

along the path.

Music

46 Early years themes—Fairytales—The gingerbread man www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®


Teacher background information

Gingerbread refers to a cake or biscuit that is flavoured with ginger and treacle or golden syrup. The treats are often shaped with

biscuit cutters in the form of a ‘man’ and decorated with different coloured icing, sweets, raisins, currants and so on.

The gingerbread man is a classic fairytale that first appeared in a magazine in the late 19th century. The original author is

unknown. Over the years, the fairytale has been retold many times with a number of variations.

The common aspects in all the versions are that it involves rhyme and repetition throughout the story and builds up to a sudden

conclusion. A traditional version is provided below.

Once upon a time, an old woman made a gingerbread biscuit for her husband. She made it in the

shape of a man. She used currants for its eyes, nose and mouth. She placed extra currants for buttons

down its front. Then the old woman put it in the oven to bake.

A little while later, she heard a noise in the oven. When she opened it to check what the noise was, out

jumped a gingerbread man. The old woman began to chase him. He ran out the door calling, ‘Run,

run, as fast as you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!’

The old woman chased him into the garden where her husband was digging. He began to chase the

gingerbread man, too. The gingerbread man kept running down the path calling: ‘Run, run, as fast as

you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!’

The gingerbread man ran down the path, across the fields and came upon a cow. The cow called

out, ‘Stop! I’d like to eat you!’ The gingerbread man replied, ‘I’ve run away from an old woman. I’ve

run away from an old man. And I can run away from you, I can! Run, run, as fast as you can. You can’t

catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!’

Next, the gingerbread man came upon a horse. The horse called out, ‘Stop! I’d like to eat you!’ The

gingerbread man replied, ‘I’ve run away from an old woman. I’ve run away from an old man. I’ve run

away from a cow. And I can run away from you, I can! Run, run, as fast as you can. You can’t catch

me, I’m the gingerbread man!’

Then the gingerbread man came upon a deep, fast-flowing river.

If he tried to cross it, he would become wet and fall apart. A sly fox

was at the water’s edge. He had seen the gingerbread man being

chased by the others. The fox said he would take the gingerbread

man across the river on his back. The gingerbread man agreed

and off they went across the river.

As the water got deeper, the fox said to the

gingerbread man, ‘Stand on my head or you will

get wet’. So the gingerbread man pulled himself

up and stood on the fox’s head. The tricky fox

suddenly snapped at the gingerbread man, who

disappeared into his mouth.

And that was the end of the gingerbread man!

There are several versions with the title ‘The gingerbread boy’ instead of ‘The gingerbread man’. Modern versions include a

gingerbread man who is a cowboy, one who goes to school, one who is a girl and one who gets chased through New York

City.

• ‘The gingerbread man’ is a fairytale.

Fairytales are fictional stories containing imaginary

characters.

• Some things happen in fairytales that can’t happen in

real life.

• Different people have written different versions of the

fairytale.

Concepts to be developed

• The children should be able to:

– identify the characters in the story and the setting

– sequence the events in the story, verbally and pictorially,

and with matching sentences, according to ability level

– compare and contrast different versions of the fairytale.

• The moral of the story, as the gingerbread man found out,

is that you can’t trust everyone at face value.

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—Fairytales—The gingerbread man 47


Gingerbread man game

arms

legs

eyes

Instructions: This game is for two players. The worksheet can be enlarged to A3. To play the game, each child chooses a gingerbread man. The children take turns to throw a dice. They colour the body part

that matches the number thrown. If they have already coloured that part, they miss a turn. The first to finish colouring their gingerbread man wins.

48 Early years themes—Fairytales—The gingerbread man www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®


Trace and match

gingerbread

man

horse

cow

Instructions: The children track the line from left to right from the picture of each character to its name.

old woman

old man

fox

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—Fairytales—The gingerbread man 49


What happens next? – 1

Instructions: Can be enlarged to A3. The pictures on pages 50 and 51 show eight events from the fairytale in correct sequence. Colour, laminate and cut out for the children to use in English and maths

sequencing and ordinal activities.

50 Early years themes—Fairytales—The gingerbread man www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®


What happens next? – 2

Instructions: Can be enlarged to A3. The pictures on pages 50 and 51 show eight events from the fairytale in correct sequence. Colour, laminate and cut out for the children to use in English and maths

sequencing and ordinal activities.

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—Fairytales—The gingerbread man 51


Sentence strips

An old woman made a gingerbread man.

The gingerbread man jumped out of the

oven and ran away.

The old woman ran after the gingerbread

man.

The old man ran after the gingerbread man.

The cow ran after the gingerbread man.

The horse ran after the gingerbread man.

The gingerbread man met a fox.

The fox took the gingerbread man across the

river. The fox ate him.

‘Run, run, as fast as you can.

You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!’

Instructions: These are sentence strips to accompany the sequencing activity on pages 50 and 51. The first eight strips follow the story sequence. The final strip is for the children to chant between each

strip as the gingerbread man runs away from each character.

52 Early years themes—Fairytales—The gingerbread man www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®


Instructions: Photocopy onto white construction paper. The teacher or children colour and cut out the set of puppets. Glue each onto a craft stick. The children practise oral language skills to perform a play

about the gingerbread man.

Gingerbread man puppets

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—Fairytales—The gingerbread man 53


Dot-to-dot gingerbread man

11

10

12

9

13

8

14

7

5

17

15

3

4

6

2

1

20

16

18

19

Instructions: The children join the dots to complete the gingerbread man picture, then colour it.

54 Early years themes—Fairytales—The gingerbread man www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®


Colour by shape

red green purple

Instructions: Assist the children to colour the shapes by following the key at the top of the page. They find the shape(s) in the gingerbread man house and colour accordingly.

yellow blue grey

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—Fairytales—The gingerbread man 55


Gingerbread man outline

Instructions: Refer to the activity ideas on page 45 for instructions for different ways to use this gingerbread man template.

56 Early years themes—Fairytales—The gingerbread man www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®


Recipes

Gingerbread men biscuits

(makes 20 biscuits)

Ingredients (biscuits)

Ingredients (icing)

• 125 g butter

• 1 egg white

• ½ cup brown sugar

• 1 cup icing sugar

• ½ cup golden syrup

• 1 egg yolk

• 2½ cups plain flour

• 1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda

• 1 tbs. ground ginger

• 1 tsp. mixed spice

• raisins, currants and cherries (optional for decorations)

• extra plain flour to dust surface

Instructions

• 8 to 10 drops each of green and

red food colouring

• confectionery such as Smarties

for buttons (optional)

• Preheat oven to 180 °C. Line two baking trays with baking paper. In a bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar with an electric

beater until pale and creamy. Add the egg yolk and golden syrup and beat until combined. Stir in the sifted flour, mixed spice,

bicarbonate of soda and ginger. Place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Mould into a disc shape, cover

with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

• Put egg white into a bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add icing sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Divide

the icing among three bowls. Put red food colouring in one bowl, green in another and mix. Leave the third plain. Cover with

plastic wrap and cool in fridge.

• Roll chilled dough between two sheets of baking paper until thin. Use a gingerbread cutter to cut out ‘men’. Place on trays.

Keep rolling and cutting shapes until all dough is used. If raisins, currants or cherries are to be used as decorations, press

into biscuits before cooking. Bake in oven for about 10 minutes or until brown.

• Put icing into plastic bags and cut a small hole in corner. Pipe onto cooled gingerbread men to decorate. Add confectionery if

desired.

Gingerbread

playdough

Toasted gingerbread

men

(For children to use to mould into

gingerbread men shapes.)

Ingredients

• 2 cups plain flour

• 4 tbs. cream of tartar

• 2 tbs. cooking oil

• 1 cup salt

• 2 cups water

• spices: ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice

• food colouring: green and red to make brown

(Optional, as the spices already give a brown tinge.)

Instructions

Ingredients

• milk

• food colouring

• unused paintbrushes

• bread slices

Instructions

• Pour about one-quarter of a cup of milk into each of four

or five clear plastic cups. Add 1 to 2 drops of different

coloured food colouring into each cup and stir to mix.

Give each child a slice of bread. They use a gingerbread

man biscuit cutter to press onto bread and cut out a ‘man’.

Set aside the remainder of the slice for another use. They

then dip a different paintbrush in each colour to paint the

features of their gingerbread man on the bread. When

complete, place the bread into a toaster to cook and eat.

• Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Stir over a medium heat

until all congealed. Once cooled, add drops of chosen

colour of food colouring and mix by hand until desired

colour is achieved.

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—Fairytales—The gingerbread man 57


Display ideas

Coloured gingerbread men frieze

• Make a frieze of coloured gingerbread men to display

for children to identify colours and colour names. The

children can help to paint large outlines of gingerbread

men in different colours. The colour’s name can be printed

underneath.

Gingerbread men literature charts

• After several versions of the fairytale have been read and

discussed with the children, they can draw pictures of the

same and different characters from each version. Display

the various book versions in front of a chart that has the

characters labelled with their names. A picture of a scene

or two special to each version could also be drawn by the

children and a descriptive sentence written and displayed

next to it.

Favourite gingerbread man book graph

• As an extra display idea connected to the activity above,

the children can vote for their favourite version of the

fairytale. Make mini colour photocopies of several book

covers of different versions of the story. Glue to a chart or

attach to a pin-up board. The children can glue or pin a

small gingerbread man cut-out above the book they liked

the most. Tally the ‘votes’ after.

Gingerbread man body cut-out

• Use paint and collage materials to create a child-size

gingerbread man on thick card or paint the image on one

side of a large cardboard box (as shown). Cut out a hole

where the head should be. The children stand behind the

cut-out and put their face through the hole. Other children

could have conversations with the ‘gingerbread man’.

Photos of each child could also be taken and displayed.

Which gingerbread man is missing?

• The children either draw and paint their own gingerbread

man or use the version made in ‘Visual arts’ on page 45.

Display them with each child’s name. Each day, take one

away and ask the children to guess which gingerbread

man has run away ‘as fast as he can’.

Gingerbread man story map

• Use the idea in the cross-curricular English activities

on page 42 of making and displaying a story map of

the fairytale. The children can help to draw pictures of

the setting to glue onto a chart. It should have the old

woman and old man’s cottage and a winding path drawn

across fields, bushes and trees in the countryside leading

to a river. The characters the gingerbread man meets

can be glued in the appropriate positions. The path the

gingerbread man took can be drawn as a line or as dot

points. Provide a gingerbread man cut-out next to the

display that children can pick up and use to retell the story

with another child as they follow the path.

String of gingerbread men

• Children can paint or colour outlines of gingerbread men

cut from brown paper. Add a tab to the head so they

can be folded over a length of string and displayed as

a collection of gingerbread men. Different amounts of

gingerbread men between one and 20 could be folded and

displayed on different strings so the children can count the

number on each display.

58 Early years themes—Fairytales—The gingerbread man www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®


Literature resources – 1

Stories

Websites to view and listen to the fairytale include:




A selection of traditional and modern versions include:

• The gingerbread man by Catherine McCafferty

• The gingerbread boy by Richard Egielski

Gingerbread baby/Gingerbread friends by Jan Brett

• The gingerbread cowboy by Janet Squires

• The gingerbread girl by Lisa Campbell Ernst

• The gingerbread boy by Harriet Ziefert

• The gingerbread kid goes to school by Joan Holub

• The gingerbread boy by Paul Galdone

Songs, action rhymes, fingerplays and poems

Ten little gingerbread men

(Tune: ‘Ten little Indians’)

One little, two little, three little gingerbreads

Four little, five little, six little gingerbreads

Seven little, eight little, nine little gingerbreads

Ten little gingerbread men

The gingerbread man

(Tune:‘The wheels on the bus’; children perform

the actions while singing.)

The gingerbread man runs round and round,

Round and round, round and round.

The gingerbread man runs round and round,

Saying: ‘Catch me if you can!’

Substitute other actions for ‘runs’ such as skips, hops,

tiptoes, jumps, dances, leaps and sidesteps.

Five gingerbread men

(Hold up five fingers and count down as the

gingerbread men disappear.)

Five gingerbread men

All ready to eat.

One sat up

And jumped to his feet.

‘Catch me! Catch me!

Catch me if you can!

I can run fast,

I’m the gingerbread man!’

Repeat with four, three, two and one; then chant:

No gingerbread men

Ready to run away.

I’ll have to bake some more

On another day!

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—Fairytales—The gingerbread man 59


Literature resources – 2

Songs, action rhymes, fingerplays and poems

The gingerbread man

An old lady baked a gingerbread man

On a sunny day.

But when she opened up the oven

The gingerbread man ran away.

Chorus:

‘Run! Run!

As fast as you can!

You can’t catch me

I’m the gingerbread man!’

The old lady chased the gingerbread man

As out the door he fled.

The old man began to chase him, too

As the gingerbread man said:

Chorus

A cow told him to stop

And a hungry horse did, too.

But the gingerbread man kept running

And down the path he flew.

Chorus

He ran till he reached a river

And there he met a fox,

Who kindly said he’d take him

All the way across.

Chorus

He jumped on the fox’s back

Who swam hard with his paws.

The fox told the gingerbread man

To move up closer to his jaws!

Chorus

The gingerbread man moved up

As the water gave him a fright.

Then the fox tossed him in the air

And swallowed him with one bite!

Chorus

Although you ran,

And ran and ran

The fox caught you

Poor gingerbread man!

Notes

60 Early years themes—Fairytales—The gingerbread man www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

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